I have a single MacBook Pro partitioned into two drives, each running a copy of Mountain Lion. In Partition X, I would like to disable Spotlight from indexing Partition Y. In Partition Y, I want to disable Spotlight indexing of Partition X.


Under System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy, setting Partition X to prevent indexing of Partition Y also prevents Partition Y from indexing Partition Y. I.e., the privacy settings are preserved across partitions. I am looking for unique privacy settings for each partition.

  • Did you find any solution to this? I use macOS 10.12 on one and OS X 10.11 on the other partition, and I've got the very same problem you mentioned in the comment below.
    – johk95
    Oct 26, 2016 at 12:35

1 Answer 1

  • System Preferences.. > Spotlight > Privacy
  • Add the mount path you don't want indexed to the list by selecting the device you want excluded also. However, if it's hidden use ++G and enter the path name for example /Volumes/Partition Y.

After some testing this method does not work with multiple partitions of like OSs (eg. 10.8 on partition A and 10.8 on partition B) but does seem to work if each OS is different. Still not 100% clear on why this is since each drive has it's own /.Spotlight-V100/VolumeConfiguration.plist or /.Spotlight-V100/Store-V1/Exclusions.plist

  • Is that different than selecting the partition from the Finder sidebar?
    – ele
    Jul 9, 2013 at 16:08
  • No, I clarified my answer, you can also just select it from the sidebar.
    – hoss
    Jul 9, 2013 at 16:09
  • 2
    Okay, thanks. That's what I thought you meant. The trouble with this is that the volume is then ignored on the other partition (itself) as well. I want each partition to ignore the other one but index itself.
    – ele
    Jul 9, 2013 at 16:16
  • yes so in your example when you are booted onto part-X exclude part-Y, when when you boot into part-Y exclude part-X. I have a machine with 4 partitions and different ignore rules for each. that should function, though I'm testing on 2x10.6's, 1x10.7 and 1x 10.9.
    – hoss
    Jul 9, 2013 at 16:27
  • @ele So after a little more tinkering I found as long as you select the mount path e.g. /Volumes/<partname> and not / it seems to work. in otherwords use the goto folder shortcut and browse to /Volumes then select the volume to ignore from there. Hope that works for you. if so I'll fix up the question again.
    – hoss
    Jul 9, 2013 at 17:31

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